NextEra Energy (NEE) Upgraded to Buy at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of NextEra Energy (NYSE:NEE) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report published on Friday. The brokerage currently has $193.00 price target on the utilities provider’s stock.

According to Zacks, “In a year’s time, shares of NextEra Energy have gained against the decline of its industry. NextEra Energy’s investment to strengthen its infrastructure and ongoing capital projects, when completed, will help it serve its expanding customer base more efficiently. The expansion of its natural gas operation through strategic acquisitions is going to have a positive impact on earnings. However, the company’s nature of business is subject to complex and comprehensive federal, state and other regulations. Substantial investments are undertaken to ensure the safety of nuclear operation. That said, the risk of unplanned outages remains, which could derail its normal operation and impact profitability.”

A number of other equities analysts have also recently weighed in on NEE. Barclays initiated coverage on NextEra Energy in a report on Tuesday, July 10th. They issued an equal weight rating and a $182.00 price target for the company. KeyCorp upped their price target on NextEra Energy from $168.00 to $178.00 and gave the stock an overweight rating in a report on Thursday, July 19th. Howard Weil initiated coverage on NextEra Energy in a report on Tuesday, July 24th. They issued a sector perform rating for the company. Scotiabank initiated coverage on NextEra Energy in a report on Tuesday, July 24th. They issued a hold rating and a $70.00 price target for the company. Finally, ValuEngine raised NextEra Energy from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report on Thursday, August 2nd. Three analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and thirteen have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $170.64.

NYSE NEE traded up $0.27 during trading hours on Friday, reaching $169.36. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 1,731,015 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,965,221. The stock has a market capitalization of $79.04 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 25.28, a PEG ratio of 2.58 and a beta of 0.20. NextEra Energy has a 1-year low of $145.10 and a 1-year high of $175.66. The company has a current ratio of 0.58, a quick ratio of 0.46 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.78.

NextEra Energy (NYSE:NEE) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, July 25th. The utilities provider reported $2.11 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $2.06 by $0.05. The company had revenue of $4.07 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $4.51 billion. NextEra Energy had a return on equity of 10.49% and a net margin of 49.10%. NextEra Energy’s quarterly revenue was down 7.6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $1.86 EPS. Equities analysts predict that NextEra Energy will post 7.76 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, December 17th. Shareholders of record on Friday, November 30th will be issued a dividend of $1.11 per share. This represents a $4.44 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.62%. NextEra Energy’s payout ratio is currently 66.27%.

In other news, Treasurer Paul I. Cutler sold 11,016 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, October 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $175.08, for a total value of $1,928,681.28. Following the completion of the sale, the treasurer now directly owns 102,291 shares in the company, valued at $17,909,108.28. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, Director Rudy E. Schupp sold 1,600 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, October 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $167.00, for a total value of $267,200.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 21,300 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,557,100. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 74,024 shares of company stock valued at $12,742,375 in the last three months. Insiders own 0.55% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Gables Capital Management Inc. purchased a new position in shares of NextEra Energy during the first quarter worth $105,000. Braun Bostich & Associates Inc. boosted its position in shares of NextEra Energy by 492.5% during the second quarter. Braun Bostich & Associates Inc. now owns 865 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $144,000 after buying an additional 719 shares during the period. Howe & Rusling Inc. boosted its position in shares of NextEra Energy by 70.5% during the second quarter. Howe & Rusling Inc. now owns 902 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $151,000 after buying an additional 373 shares during the period. Marshall & Sullivan Inc. WA purchased a new position in shares of NextEra Energy during the second quarter worth $167,000. Finally, LFA Lugano Financial Advisors SA purchased a new position in shares of NextEra Energy during the third quarter worth $168,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 76.27% of the company’s stock.

NextEra Energy Company Profile

NextEra Energy, Inc, through its subsidiaries, generates, transmits, distributes, and sells electric power to retail and wholesale customers in North America. The company generates electricity through wind, solar, nuclear, and natural gas-fired facilities. It also provides risk management services related to power and gas consumption.

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